I have mentioned before that I have some pretty incredible thrift stores in my town. I know that it is only by sheer luck that I come across these treasures, and feel it is a duty of mine to bring them straight home, and gussy them up so that they'll reach their full potential. Such was the case with this darling little desk. I have already bought my son a desk (a really incredible old desk, but I'll get to that in a minute,) but this one is one of those super tiny ones, smaller than a kindergardener would use, and perfect for my 2 year old son right now. For only $3 I snatched it right up.
First things first, I gave it a really good scrub with a bristled brush and some steel wool. It had a lot of funky cobwebs and rust all over the bottom, and since this is for my son, I wanted those to be good and gone.
The top of the desk was a plastic laminate material that wasn't winning any beauty awards, so I decided to cover it up completely and made the top into a chalk board. I coated the whole top and edges in chalk board paint. I then seasoned the chalk board by rubbing a piece of chalk sideways over the whole top. This ensures that once we start writing words, letters or anything else on top, the lines won't be permanently etched into the paint.
My son came out in the middle of this part and assisted in dusting off the chalk. I could barely keep him away the desk, he loved it already!
Next step, paint the body of the desk. Something with this many little crevices called for spray paint, and I went with Rustoleum since it has such a high level of protection and stops any more rust from forming.
I made sure to tape the desk well, all around the edges of the wood and the metal details. I then started spraying!
I did 2 - 3 light coats of paint leaving 10-15 minutes drying time in between coats, then I flipped the desk over to do the bottom and the inside.
Looking better already!!
I sanded all of the grime off of the wooden seat and back until I was down to the wood. I then tried out this Americana gel stain in Oak.
I really wanted to try this stain because it is water-based, and I really hate the fumes of oil based wood stain and the paint thinner that I then have to use to clean my brushes. I also don't ever know what to do with the thinner afterwards, so this let me avoid both of those situations.
You'll need to use a different technique than with a oil based stain, where you would paint it on, let it soak in, and then wipe off the excess. For this water based stain, you paint it on a bit at a time, and then wipe over it with a damp cloth to help blend the color until it's as light or dark as you want. It took a few applications to get it just how I wanted, but once I was finished I really loved the warm oak.
It needed a little something extra, so I went for a 3. If people ask me, "Why a 3?" I will say, "Oh, because Jayce is the 3rd member of our family!" or something like that. The real reason is, I wanted to put some sort of detail there, and this 3 was the best option in my craft room at the time. Sometimes my details are sentimental, and sometimes they are just completely random!
I sealed the wood with a coat of satin polyurethane and I was done!!
So?! Better, right?!
My son just loves it! Actually, while I was in the backyard cleaning it and it's successor, the neighbors' kids came over and all 3 were fighting over writing on it.
And here it is next to the bigger, up next for a re-furb desk. Isn't it tiny? And isn't the big one great?! It has a wooded desktop and a big hollow compartment inside for storage. I feel a responsibility to do this big one just right since it's such a great find, so I'll welcome your suggestions. But for now, we're loving the 2 year old chalkboard version.
I'll be linking this up to these great link parties this week. See you next Monday!